I am currently working on a project where we stream (legal) MP3 files to users, and users can upload MP3s. I plugged the site into the Rackspace Cloud Files product. We want to make the site free for users, so we'll have to cover the bandwidth and storage cost.
What is troubling me is the math on growth and how it affects our cost. Storage is pretty cheap, and MP3 files are small, so I have no concerns there. I am concerned with the bandwidth costs. Again, the files are small, but there will be a lot of streaming. This is my math.
1 user listens to 10 MP3 files a day at an average file size of 6MB = 60MB per day = 420MB per week = 1,820MB per month.
If we have 10,000 users, that comes to 17.36TB per month (17773.44GB). The cost for bandwidth at Rackspace will be $1,982.14 per month. This is assuming all users listen to only 10 songs a day. When the user count goes up, it gets worse. If users listen to more than 10 MP3s, say they listen for a few hours a day, then the cost goes way up from here.
If my math is correct on needed bandwidth, how do other companies do this? I realize YouTube(Google) and NetFlix have their own infrastructure, but there are so many other smaller sites that stream long video files that are much larger than our little MP3 files. How can they afford this? Is there another solution out there for the little guy to allow large bandwidth at an affordable price?
Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.